Dear member / clinic,

Booster mandate
We’ve just been notified that the booster mandate legislation referred to in yesterday’s email has been passed. Notification is copied below, and the full text of the amendments can be found here
Boosters for those eligible are required by 15/2/22, or by the date 183 days after receipt of the second dose.

More information on the Vaccinations Order Amendments is attached

The MoH recommends a booster as soon as eligible.

RAT supply
MoH full information on RAT ordering was left off yesterday’s email and is also copied below – please read

With best wishes,

David Gollogly, Jasmine Mackay, Richard Chen, Kelvin Ward
Pandemic Response Subcommittee
Booster mandate

“Changes to the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 (Vaccinations Order) have now come into effect making boosters mandatory for the health and disability workforces.

Eligible workers are required to have their booster dose by 15 February 2022.

To be eligible, people need to be over 18 years old and have had their second dose more than 4 months ago. For those that had their second dose less than 4 months ago, it’s recommended they get their booster once they become eligible after 4 months.”

RAT supply – MoH notification

The government’s plan for Omicron
Our latest threat, Omicron, is known to be a more infectious strand and it has a more transmissible rate 2-4 times of Delta. This poses significant risks for our communities and our most vulnerable people particularly in Māori and Pacific communities (based on previous outbreak experiences) hence why we need to take a strong proactive approach to Omicron community transmission. Further, we are also conscious of the impacts on our critical workforces should a large community outbreak occur.

The Ministry’s current Omicron Strategy Plan is to keep it at the border, detect and rapidly respond to any Omicron cases in the community; strengthen protection through vaccination with, a focus on vulnerable populations, whilst continually reviewing and strengthening public health measures and the health systems capability and capacity. Things are obviously changing rapidly currently and plans will need to change accordingly. Once Omicron is seeded in the community the strategy will become one of protecting the most vulnerable to severe disease and/or death, ensuring equity, and limiting the impact on society through the protection of critical infrastructure and workforces. You can read more on this here - the government’s plan to minimise the risk from Omicron.

Supply of Rapid Antigen Test to general practice, urgent care centre and pharmacy teams
In response to the increased risk of transmission from the Omicron variant, we would like to prepare general practice, urgent care centre and pharmacy teams by frontloading supervised and unsupervised Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT’s) to help support the Ministry’s efforts to manage any Omicron outbreak. At this stage, our focus is to ensure that we have the RATs with each of you ready to go if needed. Further information on the approved uses for the RATs tests (beyond those approved so far) will be provided when finalised. Guidance and training links on how to do supervised RATs are provided below.

For general practices, urgent care centres and pharmacies, we are recommending that you place initial orders as follows:
  • Unsupervised tests – a quantity equivalent to a pack of 5 per frontline staff member plus a 10% contingency. The use of unsupervised RATs will most likely be in support of enabling our critical workforces to remain at work.
  • Supervised tests – a quantity commensurate with the more vulnerable population (elderly, high needs, Māori, Pacific, high depravation) that your pharmacy/general practice/urgent care centre supports, who are unlikely to be able to source or use unsupervised RATs themselves. The testing strategy for Omicron is still being confirmed, however it is likely to include the use of unsupervised RATs by the public. As such we expect the quantity of supervised tests that you may perform to be comparatively small and focused largely on those that will need additional support with undertaking a RAT. We recognise that some pharmacies will already have stocks of supervised RATs, but may need to top-up their supply based on the above.
Please place orders that are rounded to the nearest carton quantity as specified below:
  • MoH Panbio C-19 Ag Nasal pkt25- Abbott – 800 per carton
  • MoH SARS Nasal Antigen test pkt 25-Roche – 225 per carton
  • MoH SARS Nasal Antigen test pkt 5-Roche – 195 per carton
Once you receive your orders, please put these aside in a safe place. Further guidance on the testing strategy and approved use of RATs will be communicated as soon as it is available.

The Ministry is working with DHBs to setup local collection sites for the distribution of RATs to the public. DHBs are looking at the most sensible collection locations for their regions. Where this includes general practices, urgent care centres and/or pharmacies, the DHB will liaise with you directly on this. Supply of RATs for this purpose will be communicated and managed separately.

Ordering RATs through the PPE Portal
We have added the ability to order RATs onto the Ministry’s PPE portal. The Ministry will be reviewing the orders as they come through, discussing with you if needed, and then confirming for dispatch.

If you already have an existing account on the PPE portal with either Healthcare Logistics (HCL) or Onelink (OL)
  • You are now able to order RATs via your existing login on the portal.
If you do not have an existing account on the PPE portal
  • All new accounts are being setup through HCL regardless of region The link to the PPE Portal is - this Portal is managed by Health Care Logistics (HCL).
  • To open an account and gain access to the online portal you will need to run through the standard credit process even if you already have an account with HCL. There will be no charge for the RATs you are ordering.
  • Please fill out the HCL form and email it to
  • Once an account has been opened, you can access the portal at the above link. Follow the instructions on the attached information sheet to place orders.
  • If you have forgotten your password, please reset this via the link on the Portal home page. A new password will be sent to the account email address.
  • If you have any other issues with opening and accessing your account, then please email HCL at . HCL will be able to confirm your account details for you if you already have already registered an account.
More information
If you would like more information or have any questions, please contact us via

PPE & Critical Medical Supply Team
Testing and Supply l Ministry of Health Manatū Hauora l